Microbial communities are of more than just a scientific curiosity. Microbes represent the single largest source of evolutionary and biochemical diversity on the planet. They are the major agents for cycling carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other elements through the ecosystem.
The Heidelberg lab works to describe and understand patterns of diversity and to evaluate their qualitative and quantitative role in the food web and the cycling of elements in the environment. We use DNA and RNA based (metagenomic) technologies to evaluate microbial ecosystems, then pair these technical approaches with lab and field based studies.
Dr. Karla Heidelberg has labs on both the University of Southern California UPC campus in Los Angeles and at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center (part of the Wrigely Institute for Environmental Studies) on Catalina Island.
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